As I begin todays article, many of you are going to start exclaiming about how this isn’t about Permaculture. The reason for this is that I am not writing about herb spirals, swales, water storage, urban gardens (well I will mention them briefly, I just can’t help myself) or most of the other topics that we normally preach and teach about.
No, today I am going to talk about attitudes, especially those of the youth culture; and what the older generations have to show/talk to them about in order for this idea of a Permanent Culture to mean anything.
This article came to me while I was trolling around facebook and I saw a post from a friend of mine that said, “The difference between this generation and ours is that THIS generation is so focused on BEING HOOD that they don’t understand the goal is to GET OUT THE HOOD. It’s our duty as MEN to teach them”.
I agree with this sentiment for the most part, but an early reply to it gave an even better concept. “I wish I had time to elaborate on this fam….but simply put….its NOT for us to GET OUT THE HOOD!!! ITS FOR US TO BUILD IT UP AGAIN!!! ”
There is nothing more meaningful in Urban Permaculture that can be expressed in my humble opinion. To me this one statement is what it is all about. Taking the environment we have been born into, and returning it to the glory it once held.
I won’t bore you with the whole conversation that followed, but essentially the gentlemen discussing this recognized the way that gentrification is benefitting people outside of the communities that are being reborn, instead of the people who have lived there through the bad years. They see that people need to become more self sufficient, and less dependent on those who would build wealth on their very sweat. They see the need to pass on the idea to the next generation that the lesson that being “hood” is not a badge of honor, but that surviving the hood and elevating oneself above it is. The most heartening part was when they started questioning whether they were doing enough to elevate those behind them as they have done to elevate themselves.
That is the root of Urban Permaculture. Rebuilding our society by using local resources and relying on our neighbors and being available for our neighbors to rely on us. Everything else we talk about; from urban gardens to chemical free living to workshops to water conservation and waste management are just concepts and tools that will help us get there.
We can make our cities more resilient and sustainable that are places of abundance and equity. We just have to remember that WE have to do it and we have to teach the generation behind us about it too. No one else will for us.
Have a great day and go grow something.